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Operations Management: Processes and Supply Chains, 12th Edition by Larry P. Ritzman, Manoj K. Malhotra, Lee J. Krajewski

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The Kanban System

One of the most publicized aspects of lean systems, and the TPS in particular, is the Kanban system developed by Toyota. Kanban, meaning “card” or “visible record” in Japanese, refers to cards used to control the flow of production through a factory. In the most basic Kanban system, a card is attached to each container of items produced. The container holds a given percent of the daily production requirements for an item. When the user of the parts empties a container, the card is removed from the container and put on a receiving post. The empty container is then taken to the storage area, and the card signals the need to produce another container of the part. When the container has been refilled, the card is put back on the ...

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